Friday, February 28, 2014

Ice Blue /Your Ways




Ice Blue/Your Ways
Two Variants on the Rhyme Royal




Ice Blue


How can  the sky be so fire-orange true,
as if the horizon burned time red and gold
in a winter when wind blows trees ice blue,
and night screams as it comes in fear and cold?

Not much is sure of what we hold,
not why nor how nor any way back,
least of all the white road that's striped with black

or the peacock colors of who we are
that change as the sail trims light or dark,
just your wrist that burns with the pulse of a star,
that laid under my breast holds down the heart

made wild to fly, then fly apart,
a snake of smoke to the bonfire sky
blown on the wind of you and I.



Your Ways



Your leg lifts a sail gone slack on my thigh,
your wrist knocks its pulse beneath my far breast
holding down the heart you made wild to fly,

and fly apart, with each chamber pressed
each moment peeled, each beat undressed

blind with the shine of this folded hour
drunk with the moon in her swaying tower.

Nothing is certain, not life nor days.
Nothing is certain in dark or bright.
Nothing is certain except your ways

when you come to me here, to summer the night
on the road stark black but waved with white

against a peacock sky so fire-orange true
in a winter that blows the trees ice-blue.



~February 2014









posted for      real toads
Fireblossom Friday: Rhyme Royal & W.T. Benda
The ever devious Fireblossom (Shay's Word Garden) who is known for her allergic reaction to haiku, has chosen to tantalize us with a form challenge today, the rhyme royal. The form is written using a seven line stanza with a rhyme scheme of ababbcc, or with either of two variants: 
a quatrain and tercet,  abab  bcc  or a tercet and two couplets,   aba bb cc.  
For full details, see the Toads link above.
I have written the same poem twice, reversed, once for each of the latter two ways. I also worked a word or two in derived from the illustration below by W.T. Benda.



~WT Benda




Photos: Scruboak Sunset, Darkwood, by joyannjones copyright 2012,2014
All Rights Reserved.

30 comments:

  1. Hedge, I simply cannot choose between them. I'm very glad that you decided to post both, because first of all, they are each marvelous in their own right, and also we get to see two different ways of writing the same idea. It's a feast.

    The images are vivid and singular...the moon swaying in its tower, the peacock, the road, the wrist. I loved the chance to read each image independently, first in one poem and then in the other, to see what you changed. The emphasis is slightly different in each one. I like the tercet about nothing being certain, and my favorite image of all is the moon in its swaying tower and the folded hours. In both poems, what a contrast you draw between the orange peacock sky and the white road. Winter sunset, in more ways than one.

    I adore these. Thanks so much, Joy, for doing such a bang-up job on my challenge!

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    1. Thanks, Shay. I loved this challenge, and it was the perfect frame for this poem for me. In a way, the two poems really are one.

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  2. Hi Hedge--For me, the second is more compelling--they both are very original and well done--I especially like in the first one the wrist under the breast, holding down the star--but, for me, the second has stronger rhythms, and feels more direct and stronger. Because it begins with direct sensuality, it is emphasized throughout the poem, and I found some of the combinations more striking--the summering of the night, particularly, and the way the white and black work on the road. The nothing is certain tercet works better for me too-- and the way the lens focus opens up rather than zooms in--because somehow we are surer of the focus from the beginning, everything seems sharper. I find the end much stronger as well--"you and I" is always a hard combination for me as grammatically I am always wondering whether I should be saying I or me--that's not an issue in a poem since the I and the you are almost proper nouns, but my own confusion over those things makes the ending more problematic than the sharp and crisp ice-blue. So, I have a fairly strong preference. (You should delete this comment if you think it will influence other viewers.)

    I also like the directness of the opening lines --the sail on the leg, the knocking pulse of the wrist and heart, the very direct lines about flying and the heart chambers--the beat undressed-- They both are very strong poems though, and it's only in comparison to the second that I bring up anything harder for me in the first. A very cool form as well. k.

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    1. Thanks, k--the second is my favorite,(closer to the free verse original) but there were too many lines in the first I couldn't let go--plus, I thought it was interesting to do a mirror image of the set-up and see what difference it made--a large one, I think. Also, I think as poetry, the tercet/couplet/couplet arrangement works better(at least with this poem), giving more points of contrast and emphasis, even though the rhyme scheme works out exactly the same--really an illustration of what form does for/with an idea, how it shapes even the message. Thanks for your detailed and as always, insightful and honest reading.

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    2. PS -- yes, the exercise of the two poems is tremendously interesting--you could publish them on opposite pages--it is quite interesting how much the different focus--in going out--as opposed to out going in--changes the poem. Of course, there are more subtle differences than that, but to some degree, they start from that. Probably my favorite two lines of the first (if you are interested )are "Not much is sure of what we hold/nor why nor how now any way back." k.

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    3. I'm always interested. The line you quote is the short version of the 'Nothing is certain' motif, of course, because by changing up the breaks ad the order, everything shifts one way or another. I am actually starting to think of 'them' as one poem, after reading them back to back so many times. Thanks for the discussion, k. I hope you are able to do/write something you enjoy this weekend.

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  3. Second one is breath taking. Ofcourse I love the first one also but second one literally gave me goose bumps. It is sensuous and teasing. Beautiful!

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  4. Amazing to see the same poem unravelling in two directions - each with its own unique beauty. This shows both your skill and your vision as a writer.

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  5. Unique poems! Thanks for sharing!

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  6. I too found the second one compelling and I liked the sublimity and flow of the first one with its celebration of colors. As I read them one after another, I felt as if I was reading a continuous single poem, with a subtle change in the tone of the latter one.
    The imagery is beautiful. Wonderful writing.
    -HA

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  7. Oh my goodness, such elegant and perfect writing! I love both, equally. Maybe the first, a little more. It held me spellbound with its beauty. Sigh. Gorgeous.

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  8. See, I like both. It's like kissing the left ear, then the right - both are good, just a bit different. I was awash in the imagery, and both made me grin, as though I knew what you were speaking about. :) ~

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    1. I'm pretty sure you have a good idea, M. Thanks. I also like them both, really--and it was fun to do them this way.

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  9. Two poems complete a cycle....' Nothing is certain, not life nor days.
    Nothing is certain in dark or bright.
    Nothing is certain except your ways'...my favorite lines...

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  10. I like reading the two consecutively. Feels melodic, hypnotic. The second one sings off the page, or maybe I just like the subtly erotic first stanza.

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  11. The second; oh my god, the second! Hedge, that is what poetry should be.

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  12. Replies
    1. Hey, I have a third version in free verse that I modestly didn't post. ;_)

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  13. the peacock colors of who we are
    that change as the sail trims light or dark

    ok, i know not to copy and paste but those were really cool lines in the opening, hedge...if i am forced at gunpoint to choose i would the second for its immediacy...love the repetition section of nothing is certain...

    i am chaperoning 55 3-5 kids tonight on an all nighter so think of me...ha....

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    1. 3rd-5th grade...sorry...ha
      they are already getting to me...

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  14. and now, I feel stupid for not being able to meet this challenge. Well done on both accounts, Hedgey. As we all know I live on the north plain, like North North. We have seen so many days below zero (the first day of March, anticipated low is -15), and I always marvel at how warm the sunrise appears. Well done and viva la

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  15. Both poems, incredibly lovely .. feeling a bit voyeuristic right now. Thank you for the 'peek.'
    'to summer the night' ~ four words I will not soon forget.

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  16. I think the two poems are such companions to the the other they belong in the same poem, like chambers of one changeful heart. To me they calibrate two distances from I to Thou, the first from an iciest (and perhaps truest) longitude, the second from the inscape of long cohabitation, say, a marriage ... For me there's greater poetic art in the first, more power of heart in the second.

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    1. Yes, they seem to have morphed into one poem--though not about marriage. That is not my particular fantasy. But you are welcome to read your own fantasies into poetry, that's what makes it poetry. Thanks for stopping by, B.

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  17. I'm so glad you published them both. They complement and contrast eachother beautifully! I can't choose a favorite, as they work together so well. You make this form, which I found rather difficult, seamless and flowing.

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    1. Thanks, LM--I find this form easy so long as i don't have to use iambic pentameter, so I didn't!

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  18. Ok, I'm caught on the "blue" that's appeared in this, Winter Fog and Blue Beads. Is it a theme month, festival or are you feeling blue? Whatever it is, it works!

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    1. Ha! TUG I just noticed the same theme yesterday when I was looking at the blog--I think it's winter, which gives our normally rosy prairie here a lot of blue shadow and nuance--a blue phase, a blue mood. Good to see you here, as always.

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  19. These are both wonderful. I have to say the first with its cold nights really speaks to me this winter.

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'Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance' ~Carl Sandburg